April favourites

I WILL be posting about running soon – I feel like I haven’t posted a daily running-related post for a while. I HAVE been running, I HAVE been enjoying it but there haven’t been any particularly remarkable or exciting runs to tell you about lately. But hopefully that’ll be changing soon!!!

In the meantime, as it’s the last day of April, I thought I’d share some of my April favourites! April was good – and unlike March, it didn’t feel like it flew by. Mainly because I didn’t go to Hawaii or Vegas. No, instead I was here and I studied my socks off.

As ever, there are NO affiliate links in the post. No-one pays me to blog. I do it because otherwise I’d drive my husband crazy.


Studying was fab this month – I just love it. I get so excited. Even when it’s 11pm and I’m still working, it makes me so happy. What a gift, eh? I got my grades for my mid-terms. Lots of A’s. This makes me ridiculously chuffed. This month I learned about the development of kids from 6 – 11 and I particularly loved the bit about how the brain processes reading. Did you know there is no specific section of the brain that handles reading, because it’s not an instinctual skill? That bowled me over!

I presented with my group about the benefits of teaching maths to preschoolers and we’ve started working with a local non-profit that provides free preschool to low-income families. We’re making a very short promotional video about them and one of their families. This kind of thing honestly rocks my world. I feel very VERY lucky to be doing this. Like I can’t quite believe my luck.


Despite the crazy workload, I managed 3 books this month.

Skin Cleanse, by Adina Grigore, was my favourite. I finished it at the very end of March waited about a month to write about it here because my skin is ‘hormonal’ and I wanted to go a whole cycle before I raved or not. Basically, I’ve had rubbish skin for months now, maybe for over a year. This book looks at skin from a biological perspective and cuts through the crap of the beauty industry. I realised that I’d been using soap, twice a day, on my skin for ages now because I love how it feels, but in reality it was dehydrating my skin to death and my skin was making gallons of extra oil to compensate. On the book’s recommendation I started using olive oil as a cleanser and grapeseed oil as a moisturiser. I would love to say ‘…AND I HAVEN’T HAD A SINGLE SPOT SINCE’. That’s not true, but my skin is about 90% better than it was and I am so incredibly happy about that!! (Top tip – if you get a spot, make up a paste of baking soda and water and put it on the spot. Leave it to dry, leave it on all night if you want. And boom…it’s gone in the morning. I kid you not, it was nothing short of miraculous!!).

The Pursuit of God by AW Tozer is a Christian book (obviously?). I don’t read many Christian books because I generally find they start out amazingly and get boring. This was (alas) no exception. The first two chapters were wonderful and changed my views on some things and challenged my faith on others. And then it got dull.

I also read Jessica Ennis’s autobiography ‘Unbelievable‘. Jessica Ennis is a British Heptathlete who won Olympic Gold in London. She was the poster girl for London 2012 and I think she’s pretty fab! Alas, her book was a little dull. She sounds like such a nice girl, I would love to be her friend…but it wasn’t the most exciting book to read. I mentioned that Kilian’s book was pretty dull too – I wonder which sports autobiographies are actually GOOD READS!! So far, I only think Chrissie Wellington’s book has been great!


I wasted more time on the interwebs this month than I should have – flicking through things as light relief when I was tired of studying. Inspired by ‘Skin Cleanse’, the one good site I found was the Environmental Working Group, which rate all skincare products based on their ingredients and their toxicity/effects. That was quite eye-opening. Based on their work, I’ve replaced my shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen and even my blusher! Great website.

2015 seems to have brought a lot of death into my world and this month, some friends suffered an enormous loss than caused everyone that knows them much heartache. I found this article on the web and shared it via FB. I was surprised at how many people re-shared or commented how useful it was for them at that time. Whilst I was glad it was useful, I’m so sad so many people were in that position. So I’ll share it here too in case it helps anyone else.


GAME OF THRONES IS BACK AND IT DESERVES ALL CAPITALS. DRAGONS!! CERSEI!! TYRION!! Also, the female nudity seems to have been toned down and there are some male bottoms on screen now, which seems much fairer.

Seriously! How does anything else on TV compete with Drogon? Source


We half-watched a lot of Orphan Black as we studied/worked in the evenings. It was fun at first but then got boring.


I may have found my song of the year…‘Fight song’ by Rachel Platten is just cool and it makes me want to fight. Great running song, and it’s very funny when my son sings it. The Dude discovered ‘Don’t stop me now’ by Queen this month and there is NOTHING funnier than a five year old shout-singing ‘That’s why they call me Mister Fahrenheit’!!


My lovely friend Hari and I used to work together about 10 years ago in the marketing department of a big UK retailer. She left about a year ago to set up her own Indian cookery school and got ‘discovered’ by a digital marketing agency and she’s now some kind of future Celebrity Chef. I had MANY amazing dinners cooked by Hari in my yoof and this month I finally got round to trying one of her recipes. This kale and chickpea curry was nothing short of spectacular! Do check out her site if you fancy some Indian cooking – she does meat and veggies.


I also finally tried the recipe to Julia’s Banana Bread which I shared in another post. I’ve made it twice so far and both times it’s been fantastic! My boys keep nagging me to make it again, but I’m concerned about the speed with which we’re eating it!

Obsessed with

Succulents! Our trip to a lavender farm in Maui inspired the Dude to want to grow lavender on our balcony so we traipsed off to Flora Grubb, the super-fancy, hipster garden centre in SF. We purchased lavender, rosemary, some tiny little succulents and some seeds, and then bought cheapo pots at Home Depot! Four weeks in, our seedlings are growing, the other plants are all still alive and our balcony has been named ‘High Garden’ after the home of House Tyrell. (Game of Thrones). Calling some pots on a balcony ‘High Garden’ tickles me enormously.

high garden
Hey, let’s have dinner in High Garden tonight.


Looking forward to

For Memorial Day we’re heading down to San Luis Obispo to meet Marjolaine and her Gentleman for the weekend. This is a new part of California for us, so I’m excited about that. We’re running a race, cycling around, eating lots of vegetables…should be fantastic.

Finishing this semester. My classes finish at the end of May. I have some exams, some final assignments, lots of work to do. I’m looking forward to having a break over the summer.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. bt says:

    Be sure to head south to at least to one of Pismo Beach or Grover Beach (you can actually walk/run between them on the boardwalk, meadowcreek trail, and an elevated platform over the dunes) to see one of the most beautiful beaches in CA. If you want wine-tasting recommendations or restaurants, let me know. If you can fit in a visit to Morro Bay, it is also beautiful and unique in its own way (great view for a sunset dinner). If you’d like to try an old-school California fish/shellfish restaurant either Morro, Shell, or Pismo are definitely the way to go. The Andersen family at Galley and Chris Dorn at Dorn’s both run great restaurants and are long-time multi-generational family businesses in the area. Have a great trip!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thank you thank you thank you for all the recommendations!! x

  2. Grace says:

    HAHAHAHA High Garden – does that make you Margaery Tyrell? (That’d be weird.) I’m going to have to try your friend’s recipes! They look stunning and quite easy. For too long I’ve relied on takeout and instant Indian from a packet. Oh, and good job on the midterms!!

    1. Cathryn says:

      You should DEF try Hari’s site. I am biased because I love the girl but she is the most amazing cook and even I managed to pull off a good curry!! Love from Marge 🙂

  3. Jen says:

    I love how excited and enthusiastic you are about your studies. I think you’re going to make a fantastic teacher!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thank you 🙂 I am totally naive and idealistic,I might be awful and hate it but at the moment, I am very excited.

  4. Rachel Thompson says:

    I’ve tried some of Hari’s recipes, they’ve all been really really good and I love the website. Agree on Jessica Ennis’s total fabness, such a rock and positive role model for girlies though Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s hard on her heels – her piccy might be up in Union Square for Nike, she was all over the Barcelona metro hoardings! https://twitter.com/jonnymellor9/status/595037468027588608

    1. Cathryn says:

      I’m chuffed you found her site before I mentioned it. We were good friends in our yoof and she’s super lovely!

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